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  1. #41
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    I don't know who is to "blame" if anyone at all. But honestly, I have a 6yo, a 4yo with autism who frequently runs off and has no concept of danger and a love for animals, a 3yo who is a runner and a smart arsed little 2yo. So I definitely don't blame the mother as I'm sure you can probably all guess I may have lost a child or two (I've been the "we have a boy in a red jumper at the security desk" over the loud speaker type of mum...)

    I also don't particularly want to judge the zoo and their enclosure as in my experience, otherwise suitable fences don't always work. I have actually watched my son with autism, when he was 2.5yo, climb up and over a regulation pool fence. I'm terrified of what he would be able to do now at 4yo.

    I too hate the implication that making a mistake can suddenly deem you as the worst parent in the world. I'm sure she feels it anyway. She doesn't need a bunch of anonymous commenters telling her it.

    I do feel sad that the animal had to die. I can see why and agree with it going the way it did but I don't have to like it. However, I am always going to put the human child first. If it's their fault (or the parents) I don't expect them to escape reprimand and I don't always think an animal should be punished for its actions (I had a bad dog bite as a child and refused to go to hospital until they promised it would live) but if it came down to a choice between human or animal being saved, I will choose human. Especially a child.

  2. #42
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    I'll get flamed for this, but to be honest, I don't understand how so many people are so quick to excuse the lack of supervision. Yes, we all have those moments where we lose site of our kids. But we're talking about a zoo. With a tonne of people. I 100% think it's my responsibility as a parent to vigilantly supervise my children.
    I feel for the parents, it would have been absolutely horrific & I don't think they deserve to be judged as harshly as they are, but I don't believe they are void of responsibility here.
    I understand that the gorilla had to be shot to save the boy, but it seems like such a tragic loss for something that could have been avoided.

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  4. #43
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    Default Kid falls in Gorilla enclosure

    I have to say after reading the Mum's statement I was a bit . If it were me I would have been a little more remorseful about the loss of the gorilla and a little less thankful of God. Maybe it just rubbed me the wrong way because it's a tragedy for the zoo and the gorilla. I don't know I can't put my finger on it but something about it didn't sit right with me.

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  6. #44
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    I have not read all replies yet but I actually am not too sure about my thoughts.

    I have a 3yo. We have been to 2 zoos (Berlin and Melbourne). He was about 18 months for Berlin Zoo and almost 3 for Melbourne Zoo.

    He was in a pram at 18 months but walked at Melbourne. He gets a talk before and during the trip about staying with mum and dad and not going past the fences etc.

    I think the parents should take *some* responsibility. It was not on purpose but it did happen.

    The zoo should be held responsible for not having the enclosure secure enough.

    They needed to clear the area of spectators who twnd to yell and scream and scare the animal more.

    I really hate that they killed the gorilla. I am no expert so cannot say they made the *wrong* decision but I hope there is an investigation and changes are made so this does not happen again.

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  8. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinklify View Post
    I have not read all replies yet but I actually am not too sure about my thoughts.

    I have a 3yo. We have been to 2 zoos (Berlin and Melbourne). He was about 18 months for Berlin Zoo and almost 3 for Melbourne Zoo.

    He was in a pram at 18 months but walked at Melbourne. He gets a talk before and during the trip about staying with mum and dad and not going past the fences etc.

    I think the parents should take *some* responsibility. It was not on purpose but it did happen.

    The zoo should be held responsible for not having the enclosure secure enough.

    They needed to clear the area of spectators who twnd to yell and scream and scare the animal more.

    I really hate that they killed the gorilla. I am no expert so cannot say they made the *wrong* decision but I hope there is an investigation and changes are made so this does not happen again.
    I think this hits it for me. The statement from the mum just shows she takes no responsibility at all for what happened. And while I don't judge her, when my 2 yo does something dangerous at least once a day I am responsible. It's not easy and it's understandable and it happens, but I am responsible.

    Yep that's what's missing. Is a sense of being sorry that their son did something, and they weren't there to stop him.

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  10. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    I have to say after reading the Mum's statement I was a bit . If it were me I would have been a little more remorseful about the loss of the gorilla and a little less thankful of God. Maybe it just rubbed me the wrong way because it's a tragedy for the zoo and the gorilla. I don't know I can't put my finger on it but something about it didn't sit right with me.
    I thought that, too. There just seemed to be no care or concern over the fact that a well, healthy gorilla was killed to save her child. It rubbed me the wrong way, too.

  11. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full House View Post
    I thought that, too. There just seemed to be no care or concern over the fact that a well, healthy gorilla was killed to save her child. It rubbed me the wrong way, too.
    I did think the same thing - however, I would wonder if she was in a little bit of shock, which makes people react in funny ways. I know if it were my child,I wouldnt be thinking clearly for a few days afterwards. Also some people just dont 'come across well' online - I'm sure we've all been there when things don't come out right? Also, she had been pummelled by thousands of people online. I can see how she would possibly have her defenses up, and again, not thinking clearly. Just my thoughts on possible reasons why her statement came out the way it did. I don't know that I would be feeling remorse and guilt for the gorillas death for a while afterwards - it would be sheer relief that my baby is alive, everything else is secondary.

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  13. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    And while I don't judge her, when my 2 yo does something dangerous at least once a day I am responsible. It's not easy and it's understandable and it happens, but I am responsible.
    Today my 3yo who is somewhat 'ok' with road safety was standing right next to me at a crossing. The green man came on and he started walking the wrong way - almost in front of a car. It was just a lack of supervision from me. It happens. It is parenting. But I am ultimately responsible.

  14. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkers View Post
    Curious to know your thoughts Vicpark
    Zoo - 75% responsible.
    - I don't like the thought of wild animals like Gorillas being in small man made enclosures. Heartbreaking for the poor animals
    - while they have 'dangerous' animals in their care they should absolutely cater for human error/the lowest common denominator when it comes to safeguarding their animals and guests. The fact a 4 year old was able to enter the encounter is appalling.

    Mother/other guardian/s present:
    25% responsible. The buck stops with them in terms of taking their eyes off their kid. When you go to a zoo you have to know your kids and plan for their behaviors accordingly. My ds1 was a runner up until recently and when going out in public there were set things I needed to do to ensure his safety. I can safely say he wouldn't have stumbled into the enclosure on my watch. Now with my hubby that could be a different story. He is just not as observant and careful. I could see something like this happening on his watch and I would rip him a new one if it did, right before I made a donation to animal welfare in memory of the Gorilla (paid for by money's obtained from suing the zoo).

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  16. #50
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    Default Kid falls in Gorilla enclosure

    Saw this on Adam Hills FB page and I think it's pretty apt. His take:

    Before we all start saying that the American woman whose four year old son fell into a Gorilla cage should be charged, mocked, shamed, and abused – let’s take a moment to consider a few things.

    Firstly – do you know how hard it is to control a four year old? According to some reports, the kid climbed over a safety fence, while some onlookers tried to stop him. Was the mother in charge of other kids as well? If so, do you have any idea how quickly a child can escape your attention?

    Bam! It happens. You look away for a split second and your toddler is suddenly walking out the front door, playing with an electrical cord, or trying to get into the pool.

    Kids love climbing into the pool. That’s why we have laws in Australia that make sure every pool has a child-proof barrier. And if a child is able to breach that barrier, you get fined. A lot. And they conduct regular checks to make sure children can’t breach the barrier. Because they know that even the most diligent parent can’t possibly keep an eye on their children at absolutely every moment.

    I take my two-year old to the Zoo all the time. You know what she says whenever we see an animal she likes? “I want to go in there”. Whenever she sees the gorillas she says “I want to cuddle them”.

    So I let her walk up to the window, or to the fence that surrounds the monkeys, or to the cage that houses the lions, because I know there’s no way in hell she can get in.

    The last time I took her to the Zoo we were looking at the lions. She was sitting in a jeep that jutted up against the window. I took a photo that made it look like she was driving towards a lion.

    My mum was with us, and pointed out one of the younger lions on the far side of the cage. As I turned to look at the cubs, my daughter decided to get out of the jeep on her own, tripped and cut her lip open on the ground. I had looked away for a split second, and in that moment my daughter had split her lip.

    I was angry at my mum for distracting me, but in truth, **** like this happens when you’ve got a kid sometimes. Accidents happen. Does that make me a bad parent? It felt like it at the time, but the only way I could have avoided the incident was to be watching my daughter at every conceivable second – and that just isn’t possible.

    Now, imagine if instead of being in a jeep, she was standing at a fence. Imagine if instead of trying to dismount the jeep, she decided to cuddle a lion. And imagine if there was a way that she could actually have breached the fence. **** would have got real, very quickly. An accident would have happened.

    According to one report, the child at the Cincinnati Zoo scaled a three-foot fence. Three feet? That’s a metre. The fence around my swimming pool is higher than that, and has been checked to make sure it can’t be climbed by a child. I can’t even have pot plants near the fence in case they can be used as a climbing aid. Are you telling me my swimming pool is more secure than the gorilla enclosure at a metropolitan zoo?

    You can’t keep an eye on your child at absolutely every moment of the day. Sometimes you can’t react quickly enough even when you are watching them. Sometimes a stranger will step in, sometimes you get lucky, but sometimes an accident happens, and through it all, you just hope that there are safety procedures in place to stop **** going wrong.

    So before we all start rounding on that “careless parent” who “let their child walk into a gorilla enclosure” and then said “accidents happen”, let’s remember a few things.

    1) The best parents in the world can lose sight of their children for a split second.

    2) Four year olds are quick, elusive, and clever.

    3) Sometimes, accidents happen.

    Which is why

    4) A gorilla enclosure at a public zoo should be secure enough that a four year old can’t get into it.

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